Abraaj founder Naqvi released from UK prison after paying record bail

Pedro Gonçalves
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Abraaj founder Naqvi released from UK prison after paying record bail

Arif Naqvi, founder of the collapsed private equity firm Abraaj Group, has been released on bail in London after paying a £15m bond.

Naqvi, who had been detained at London's Wandsworth prison after his arrest in April, faces extradition hearings to the US, where prosecutors have accused him of defrauding investors, which he denies.

"These past weeks have been an extremely challenging time for Naqvi and his family," Naqvi's spokesman said. "He maintains his innocence, and he fully expects to be cleared of any charges."

He maintains his innocence, and he fully expects to be cleared of any charges. Naqvi has repeatedly stated his commitment to be a positive force in resolving this situation for all stakeholders"

"He maintains his innocence, and he fully expects to be cleared of any charges. Naqvi has repeatedly stated his commitment to be a positive force in resolving this situation for all stakeholders."

A London court ruled on May 3 that Naqvi would be able to leave custody if he met his bail conditions, including the payment of £15m and an additional surety of 650,000 pounds.

The conditions also included a requirement to surrender his Pakistani passport, to wear an electronic tag and to remain under 24-hour curfew at an address given to the court, a prosecution spokesman said at the time.

US prosecutors have accused Naqvi of secretly diverting "at least hundreds of millions of investors' funds" for personal gain and to help shore up Abraaj's crumbling finances. Naqvi's lawyer, Hugo Keith, has said in court that Naqvi didn't personally benefit from any alleged mismanagement at Abraaj. Keith also said the bail terms for Naqvi set a UK record.

Two of Naqvi's former employees—senior Abraaj executives Mustafa Abdel-Wadood and Sev Vettivetpillai—are also facing fraud charges. They are also on bail—Abdel-Wadood in New York and Vettivetpillai in London.

 

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